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Nicholas M. Healy

Professor
Theology and Religious Studies
Ph.D., Religious Studies, Yale University
M.Phil., Religious Studies, Yale University
M.A., Religious Studies, Yale University
M.A., Theology, University of St Michael’s College, Toronto
G.G.S.M.(Lond.), Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London

I have two particular areas of theological interest. One is ecclesiology, where I have been concerned with the question of how theologically to address the complex and often rather messy realities of the churches’ actual existence, and what difference the insights of ethnographic and sociological views of the church should make to ecclesiological method and substance. I made an initial attempt in my first book to bring these disciplines together in a discussion of the ‘concrete church’. In doing so, I became interested in a second area, the question of what it means to be a ‘good Christian’. I began to explore this initially in my second book, which examined the theology of Thomas Aquinas through the lens of his Dominican understanding of the Christian life.

More recently, I published a book-length critical analysis of the work of Stanley Hauerwas. Going carefully through Hauerwas’s work prompted me to consider working out my own rather different ideas as to what might constitute a good Christian life in relation to the life of the church. Accordingly, I am now working on a rather ambitious book that aims to challenge some traditional assumptions about the forms of the Christian life. The book works within various disciplines - biblical criticism, history, sociology and ethnography - in order to broaden and complexify standard treatment of the issues and develop a constructive theological proposal.

More generally, I find it always rewarding to re-read and write about the work of great theologians like Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Karl Barth and Karl Rahner, and of course I continue to learn much from the ongoing work of contemporary theologians, especially David Kelsey, Kathryn Tanner and John Webster.